Award presentation

This award celebrates individuals who have benefited from participating in innovative adult learning courses or projects within the community. Individuals may have overcome barriers to learning and gone on to make significant personal achievements.

Highly Commended in is this category is Jayne O’Harrow. Jayne spent 2017 to 2020 as a self-employed lone worker and became very isolated. Having older teenagers and a son with additional needs, she had no connection with other parents and no family support on the Island.

Jayne told us that ‘When Covid arrived, as with many people, my mental and physical health became very fragile. We were forced to move to a new house in a different town and didn't even know our neighbours. When things started opening up again, I was fearful and anxious and would spend all my time at home alone, ruminating, thinking no one would want to spend time with me and that I was worthless. I put up barriers to everything, I'd even written myself off as never being able to work due to my physical limitations’.

While attending a digital skills course at the Learning Centre, Jayne picked up a leaflet about the Green Time programme delivered by MCEnhancement. She took the decision to join a guided walk and engaged enthusiastically with the other participants. Jayne took part in the creative craft sessions, developing creative skills through using dried flowers, painting and making a butterfly feeder. She also took part in the healthy food sessions, developing her knowledge and skills focused on healthy food from different cultures. Jayne has developed her personal confidence with newfound friends during the Green Time courses. She has since progressed to the ‘Land of Butterflies’ carnival project which won prizes at summer carnivals across the island and included a filming project about the Isle of Wight.

Jayne said “Green Time is fabulous as it uses all your senses at one time; it’s never boring and keeps you interested. I've made friends, been involved in community events, became a committee member for the Equals IW. I am now keeping active with The Equals Friendship Groups, the friendship between each other is wonderful and enables you to be a support to other people and I found meaningful employment that keeps me engaged with local communities and organisations. My mental wellness is the best it’s ever been, I've even danced around the streets in three carnivals! People have said how much I have grown this last year and I'm thriving for probably the first time in my life. This is all down to Adult Community Learning and Green Time, without which I would probably still be hiding in my home, anxious and scared of the world and thinking I deserved to be alone. But now I am part of an amazing group of friends building a great new programme and encouraging others to come and join us on Green Time”.

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